If you thought you were done playing the naming game when you chose your business name, think again, because when you make the decision to move your business online, you get to play it all over again with selecting your domain name. It’s an important one too, as it’s what identifies you on the web, an increasingly important part of any business.
Customers have come to expect a seamless mobile, desktop and e-commerce experience (also known as omnicommerce), and your domain name is a key part of delivering it to them. It not only needs to be a clear representation of your business, but it should also be easy to find, remember and market.
If you can get thenameofyourbusiness.com and it’s not too long, then you may be set. Chances are, however, that you won’t be able to, so you’re going to have to get creative. Here are five tips for picking the right domain name for your small business.
Short and Sweet
The shorter, the better when it comes to domain names. Anything too long can be a source of frustration and misspelling. Avoid extra characters like numbers and hyphens that can be confusing. One suggested method to determining if yours is simple enough is the “radio test.” If someone heard your domain name on the radio, would they remember it and be able to type it easily without error?
What you sell may be more important than your full business name. For example, if your business is called Jane Doe Cupcakes and More, www.janedoecupcakes.com will be more beneficial regarding Google rank than www.janedoe.com. You may also want to include a city or state to make it easier for people in your area to find you. For example: www.janedoecupcakesNY.com
Register Different Variations
Particularly important if you use frequently misspelled words or numbers (3 or three?), you should consider registering different variations of your domain name so that you can direct traffic back to your site when people get it wrong. For example, if your business is Anne Smith Art, and your domain is AnneSmithArt.com, you may also want to register AnnSmithArt.com, as people are likely to leave off the “e.”
Can you use it?
Determining if your domain name is available is quick and easy through various sites, like GoDaddy. You just type in what you want, and you will know instantly. You will have to do the additional legwork, however, to verify if the name you choose is trademarked.
To keep your brand consistent, you may also want to check to see if your domain name is available on various social media channels, such as facebook.com/yourdomainname.
Beyond the .com
While a .com extension is the most popular, it is also the most difficult to acquire since so many of them are already taken, and contrary to popular belief, a .com extension doesn’t result in better SEO. There are plenty of others to choose from such as .co, .biz and .me. Do your research to see which one is right for you. You may even want to purchase the same name with multiple extensions.